Improving The Customer Experience With Biometrics

There’s no getting away from it, SCA (or Strong Customer Authentication) is set to become an integral part of how we carry out financial transactions. Yet, the question for many is whether the consumer is ready to embrace this change, placing the onus on businesses to make the transition as smooth as possible.

The Familiarity of Biometrics

One way in which SCA may be achieved is through biometrics. This technology is a proven and highly secure means of reliably authenticating a user’s identity, and the majority of the public are already familiar with this approach. Modern smart devices such as cellphones and tablets have, for some years now, integrated biometric authentication techniques, such as fingerprint sensors and facial recognition technology. Familiarity with these forms of biometrics means consumers are more likely to accept fingerprint sensors as a key approach for delivering SCA.

How Biometrics Can Support SCA

Now a regulatory requirement in the EU, SCA is applied to online transactions carried out within Europe, thereby affecting most electronic payments and transfers. The principle of SCA is that all such transactions must be secured by multi-factor authentication methods, with a minimum of two methods to be applied each time.

Options for authentication include methods drawn from the three principles of “something the user knows” (such as a password or PIN), “something the user has” (such as a card or smart device, including cellphones), and “something a user is” (relating to measurable biometric qualities such as fingerprints, face, or voice).

However, by adding this additional barrier to transactions, the customer experience may suffer. Simply including a biometric chip in a payment card removes this hurdle of inconvenience.

Big Names Are Already Adopting Fingerprint Sensors

BNP Paribas and Swedish challenger bank, Rocker, have already recognised the power of biometrics as a way to implement SCA whilst delivering a fast, convenient customer experience. By highlighting the advantages of the smart payment card with integrated fingerprint sensor (including security, ease of use, and no transaction limit), BNP Paribas has successfully begun its rollout of these cards, while  reporting a 65% share of payments being contactless[1].

Rocker, meanwhile, has reported an amazing 95% user satisfaction rating for beta testing of biometric payments cards [2], and stresses that its card offers both convenience and peace of mind for customers, and establishes the brand’s reputation as the financial trailblazer to watch.

Fingerprint Sensors Ensure SCA Compliance

SCA, instead of being seen as a friction point, can be considered an opportunity to deliver a superb customer experience. Fingerprint authentication being easy to use and offering a familiar technology, avoids the inconvenience of having to remember additional PINs or passwords at the point of payment . As early adopters, BNP Paribas and Rocker are proving that adopting fingerprint sensor technology makes meeting SCA compliance a means to actively enhance the customer experience, and deliver attractive user benefits.